During the impeachment trial in the Senate, one of the primary arguments was why did the House of Representatives not just take their grievances to the Judicial Branch? The Republicans argued that was the appropriate way for the Executive and Legislative Branches to resolve their grievances. This is why.
A Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals forced the Department of Justice (DOJ) to hand over the grand jury materials the Democrats had requested from the former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Moscow had attacked the U.S.’s 2016 elections and threw them to Donald Trump. President Vladimir Putin does not like Hillary Clinton.
Judge Judith Rogers sat on the three-judge panel and wrote the opinion for the two to one majority. She wrote that the court found the DOJ had to give the sealed documents from the grand jury to the House, according to The POLITICO:
‘In short, it is the district court, not the Executive or the Department, that controls access to the grand jury materials at issue here. The Department has objected to disclosure of the redacted grand jury materials, but the Department has no interest in objecting to the release of these materials outside of the general purposes and policies of grand jury secrecy, which as discussed, do not outweigh the Committee’s compelling need for disclosure. Special Counsel Mueller prepared his Report with the expectation that Congress would review it.’
President George W. Bush appointed Judge Thomas Griffith who agreed with the judge appointed by President Bill Clinton, Rogers. The judge for the dissent was appointed by Donald Trump, Judge Neomi Rao.
Since the verdict can be appealed, the spokesperson for the Department of Justice Kerri Kupec wrote in an email:
‘We are reviewing the decision.’
Rao wrote the court’s dissent. He said Congress “lacks standing” to request court orders from the Executive Branch. Plus, siince the House has already ruled, Rao concluded, Congress no longer had a need for the documents that qualified as an “exemption to grand jury secrecy laws:”
‘A reasonable observer might wonder why we are deciding this case at this time. After all, the Committee sought these materials preliminary to an impeachment proceeding and the Senate impeachment trial has concluded. Why is this controversy not moot?’
The reason the House chose not to take the route through the Judicial Branch instead of impeaching Trump was that the House Judiciary Committee chaired by Jerry Nadler was began this process in July 2019.
Trump notoriously clogs up the judicial system with frivolous cases as a method to divert, delay, and demoralize the corresponding person or company. These people usually do not have the funds to see endless court battles, and POTUS wins by default.
The Democrats suffered a loss late last month when another D.C. Circuit panel, led by Griffith, ruled that they could not sue to enforce a subpoena for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.
In another D.C. Circuit panel, Griffith found they could not sue in order to force a subpoena for testimony from the Trump administration’s counsel Don McGahn. In that case, the ruling was that the courts were not qualified to handle the conflicts between the Judicial and the Executive Branches. Therefore, their subpoenas could not be enforced.
Griffith, who will be taking retirement, wrote the opinion. It said that the grand jury case is unlike the McGahn case, and this is why:
‘Unlike McGahn, this case does not involve a suit between the political branches over executive-branch documents or testimony. Instead, it involves an application for access to records of the grand jury, whose disclosure the district court has traditionally controlled.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.